Judge Sides With Amazon In Patent Dispute

Amazon.com announced today that a U.S. federal district judge has granted a preliminary injunction against barnesandnoble.com in a patent battle between the rival online book sellers.

The preliminary injunction bars barnesandnoble.com from using what Amazon alleges is a “copycat version” of the 1-Click technology that was first introduced by the company in September of 1997. The feature stores customer information so that future purchases can be completed with the click of only one button.

“Amazon.com spent thousands of hours developing the 1-Click shopping feature,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com’s founder and CEO. “We’ve always worked hard to be innovators.”

Barnesandnoble.com Denies Infringement

Since the lawsuit was launched in October, barnesandnoble.com has vehemently denied any infringement of Amazon.com’s patent. Additionally, the company contends that its “Express Checkout” is actually an improvement over Amazon.com’s technology.

Favorable Sign For Priceline?

In another high-profile patent dispute, priceline.com filed suit against software giant Microsoft Corp. in October. The developments in the Amazon case are now causing some industry observers to wonder if trouble lies ahead for Bill Gates and Company in that case.

Priceline’s suit, filed in federal court, claims that Microsoft’s Expedia.com Internet travel service subsidiary is a violation of Priceline’s name-your-own-price hotel-reservation patent.

Priceline believes that its broad patent protects its particular business of allowing consumers to name their own prices for airline tickets, hotels and other services.

In fact, priceline.com co-founder and vice president Jay Walker holds more than a dozen patents related to Internet commerce through Walker Digital Corp., an intellectual-property laboratory.

Meanwhile, barnesandnoble.com claims that the judge’s decision will not affect its customer service “one iota,” and vows to continue to duke it out with Amazon.com in court.

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